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Book of Deuteronomy

Vandalism and Violence, Then and Now

Michael Coogan | Posted 10.05.2016 | Religion
Michael Coogan

I have been saddened by the destruction of ancient ruins in the ongoing and increasingly complex turmoil in the Middle East. We are certainly right to condemn present-day vandalism and violence by others, but we should also reject vandalism and violence found in our sacred texts.

What Happened to Sin

William B. Bradshaw | Posted 11.13.2014 | Religion
William B. Bradshaw

People around the world are suffering more now than at any time in my lifetime, and probably much longer. But the peoples of the world, including we who live in and love the United States, have become increasingly permissive and secular.

The Perils of Trusting the Trustworthy

Howard J. Curzer | Posted 09.01.2014 | Religion
Howard J. Curzer

The Bible often warns against trusting the wrong sources (e.g., false prophets). But in the story of Balaam, the Bible warns against placing too much trust in the right sources -- in this case Moses. The Bible's warning is particularly pertinent to us today, since we are particularly prone to the error of excessively trusting our sources.

NFL Hall Of Famer Opens Up About Biblical Significance Of Jersey Number

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 06.21.2014 | Religion

Former New York Jets running back Curtis Martin didn't always wear the jersey number 28. But when he did adopt the number, he did so for religious rea...

Fundamentalist Christians Do Not Take the Bible Literally Either

Steve McSwain | Posted 05.20.2014 | Religion
Steve McSwain

Those who insist the Bible is "literally true" have all but destroyed the very Bible they want everyone to take seriously.

The Sabbath Commandment and the Minimum Wage

Howard J. Curzer | Posted 03.30.2014 | Religion
Howard J. Curzer

Contemporary folks take the Sabbath commandment to liberate us from the stresses and timetables of modern life so that we can seek inner peace, spirituality, harmony with nature, etc. But the Bible offers different rationales.

Advent as Grateful Waiting for God's Gift of Spiritual Companionship

H. Adam Ackley, Ph.D. | Posted 02.04.2014 | Religion
H. Adam Ackley, Ph.D.

Waiting has been a powerful spiritual theme in my life, especially with regard to decades of delay in being able to live as a fully adult man, delayed for decades as a transgender person stalled by both doctors and religious mentors in a wilderness experience of confusion and falsehood.

Property Rights and Wrongs in Deuteronomy

Howard J. Curzer | Posted 10.14.2013 | Religion
Howard J. Curzer

Some people say that when you pay taxes -- income tax, sales tax, property tax, etc. -- you are giving your money to the government. Many resent this; some even consider it illegitimate. But this is a mistake.

Are We Demanding Justice Or Retribution? The Search For A Just World

Levi Ben-Shmuel | Posted 06.19.2013 | Religion
Levi Ben-Shmuel

It is wise to keep in mind when seeking justice what we ultimately want. If it is a peaceful heart and a world that is moving closer to fairness for all, we are on the road to fulfilling the biblical prophet Isaiah's vision of peace.

What We Mean When We Say 'God'

Rabbi Joseph Meszler | Posted 04.27.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Joseph Meszler

We need religion that encourages personal questioning and critical thinking. We need less doctrine and more humble acknowledgement of mystery. We need more of what the early Hasidic rabbis of Eastern Europe called mochin d'gadlut -- an open, expansive mind.

Sukkot, Interdependence, Deuteronomy And Elizabeth Warren

Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb | Posted 12.03.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb

Though the now-unfolding Festival of Sukkot is called the "season of our joy," the first morning of the holiday caught me in a foul mood. The early worship with its uplifting songs didn't help much. What did was the Torah reading.

'And This Is The Blessing': Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12

Rabbi Lisa L. Goldstein | Posted 12.03.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Lisa L. Goldstein

We can occasionally see the goal clearly before us, in both scope and time, even though we know we will never actually be able to go there. And perhaps that is the blessing of the name of our portion.

Endings And Beginnings: Deuteronomy 32

Rabbi David Starr | Posted 11.25.2012 | Religion
Rabbi David Starr

In order to create a truly vibrant learning community, we must decide to make Torah study a priority in our lives. While rabbis and educators serve a key role as guides in this process, each of us must commit ourselves to take responsibility for our own Jewish education.

A Call For Universal Education: Deuteronomy 31:1-30

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz | Posted 11.19.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

The Torah reminds us that we must put down our shovels to prioritize public education. We cannot expect struggling villages and nations to address this challenge alone.

Moral Agency And Ambiguity: Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20

Yehuda Kurtzer | Posted 11.11.2012 | Religion
Yehuda Kurtzer

It is hard not to feel, after the two political conventions, that our society believes in total moral obviousness. This happens in spite of the fact that we humans are highly unstable and ambivalent creatures.

Don’t Look Away: Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19

Rabbi David Stern | Posted 10.28.2012 | Religion
Rabbi David Stern

Do not sleep in comfort in the presence of another person's need. Don't even close your eyes. And whatever you do, don't disappear.

The Need For A Rabbinical Court Of Appeals

Rabbi Yaacov Behrman | Posted 10.23.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Yaacov Behrman

This week, Jews will read the Torah portion "Judges," which directs the Jewish people to establish a just rabbinic court system. Many people today are reluctant to appear before rabbinic courts, believing them to be unsystematic, disorganized and perhaps even outright corrupt.

The Human Is A Tree Of The Field: The Quest for Rootedness

Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose | Posted 10.21.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose

Being a mentsch -- like being a tree -- means recognizing, honoring and nurturing our roots. It demands that we consciously set aside the urge to be self-centered and self-absorbed.

The Ideal And The Real: Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17

Rabbi Leon A. Morris | Posted 10.14.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Leon A. Morris

Balancing the ideal and the real allows for an adjustment to an original plan, a midcourse correction and a reassessment based on how a "solution" is being implemented. The sabbatical year, with its forgiveness of debts, is an example.

Parshat Ekev: Never Forget, Always Remember

Josh Fleet | Posted 10.09.2012 | Religion
Josh Fleet

Listen to these laws -- observe them -- and God will keep God's promise: to love, bless and multiply you, your crops and your animals. Do this and no nation will be as great.

When Do We Have Enough Stuff? Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25

Rabbi Toba Spitzer | Posted 10.07.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Toba Spitzer

The danger here is forgetting -- forgetting where we've come from (our own experience of poverty and oppression) and forgetting that no one person, or one community, creates wealth by themselves.

Parshat Devarim: So, Let's Review

Josh Fleet | Posted 09.25.2012 | Religion
Josh Fleet

On the plans of Moab on the first day of the 11th month of the 40th year of wandering, Moses rebukes the Children of Israel for their sins. But only subtly. He lists all the places of their transgression. He doesn't mention what they did wrong.

The Geography Of Identity: Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22

Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin | Posted 09.23.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin

There is a price to pay when we remake the world over in our image, when everywhere is familiar despite the miles we have travelled. To force the world into a social monoculture both destroys the world's vibrant diversity and alienates us from particularity of place.

Biblical Homophobia And Christian Pastors

Christopher Lane | Posted 07.23.2012 | Religion
Christopher Lane

To see a Republican lawmaker and a prominent Christian pastor try to outdo each other in their bigotry and murderous hate puts in unpleasant but clear relief the moral health of the organizations they represent.

Occupy Thanksgiving

Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater | Posted 01.22.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

If this was a regular year, I would stand up here and talk about gratitude and how we are so lucky to have what we have. But this is not a regular year.